Completed A Slow Burn I

Holiday 12/24-12/27 Challenge

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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A Slow Burn I

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 8:40 am

Timestamp: 2nd of Winter, 520 A.V.


A blind teacher.

Syka was full of firsts for Tazrae, and Duncan certainly was one of those. He’d worked with her before on a few projects, but the girl couldn’t say she knew him well. His invitation, however, still crossed her mind each and every day. Magic. He’d been the one to introduce her to it, though in truth Syka was full of the stuff even though there were no formal schools here and no strict lessons laid out.

Instead, the settlement was full of life lessons. They trod upon magical pathways. Their kitchens contained metal boxes that held ice to keep things cool. It was something she’d recognized only but fleetingly until Duncan had pointed it out in-depth. And he wanted to teach her… for he had no children of his own and for him selecting someone like her would keep the magic here, in the Settlement, and used for everyone’s benefit.

Tazrae stood outside his doorway hesitantly. He’d said today would be a good time to come by, though she wasn’t exactly sure what time he’d meant. His dwelling was a doorway into the rock wall the waterfalls came off of which filled the Community Pool. She knocked firmly, and when a muffled reply from within answered her, she gently opened the doorway.

“Duncan? It’s Tazrae. I came by as you suggested.” She offered, not entering, but calling into the pitch black of Duncan’s place. She found the lack of light strange until she realized the man had no need of light. Why would he, being sightless?

“I’m here. Is there shade in the pool?” He asked, his voice echoing from inside the living quarters. Tazrae, who hadn’t really noted much, turned to look over the pool then nodded. Cool air rolled out of the chambers, almost invitingly, and Taz could hear Duncan moving around inside the darkness.

Cursing herself, she raised her voice and said ‘Yes, lots of afternoon shade. Today’s a hot one.” She said, knowing the pool itself would be warm as well.

“I’ll meet you in the shade then. We might as well be comfortable as we talk, and today has been a scorcher.” He added, calling from deep inside. What had he been doing? Taz nodded, winced again, then said…

“Sure… the water will feel great this time of day.” And with that, she turned, headed towards the pool, and paused at its edge. There was no one else around. That wasn’t unusual. Usually this time of the afternoon, just past midday, was when people in Syka took a meal or a nap after the morning's activities. She started to remove her blouse, then realized she wasn’t wearing her bikini under the blouse.

She’d thrown on a skirt and blouse this morning and nothing else, not anticipating going anywhere near the ocean. She looked around a second time. Duncan was blind… he wouldn’t see her. But would anyone else? Taz cursed the shyness that always seemed to infuse her and thought about a quick jog home. No, that would be a waste.

Word Count: 510
Last edited by Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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A Slow Burn I

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 8:43 am

So instead, she stripped out of her things and down to her skin, found out the Gods didn’t strike her immediately from Mizahar’s surface and slipped into the water with a sigh. Glancing down at herself, she noticed her skin was tanned darkly all over except for the thin string lines leading up and around her neck and the triangles where fabric normally supported and concealed her breasts.

She wasn’t a large chested woman, but a bikini felt like armor sometimes in a crowd of naked people. She was just as certain her rump was as pale as well. She leaned back, dunked her hair in the water to get the curly mass wet and to cool off before she moved towards the shade.

Duncan was quick to join her. The man walked out of his chambers without a stitch on and dove confidently into the water on the deep end. He swam down to where she was and took a seat close to her though not touching or getting into her space. Taz took a moment to look him over and realized he was tanned just as brown as she was, though the man was considerably more handsome than she could ever claim to be.

“Thank you for this invitation. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited to learn something new.” She said thoughtfully, offering the man beside her a tentative smile. He couldn’t see her expression, but her voice spoke volumes. Nervous, excited, eager, and hesitant… they were a mixed bag of emotions coursing through her body.

“Nothing too extreme for the moment, Tazrae… we’re just going to talk and then I’m going to let you decide if you want to go further and learn more.” He said thoughtfully, glancing her way though looking right past her with his milky eyes… not focusing on her face like she was used to people doing. “The water will help you relax. I’ve heard you’ve been learning to swim too… if you ever need a partner or more instructions in that way, I can help you as well.” He said, flashing her a smile.

“What will it cost me?” She asked playfully, knowing he’d already volunteered to do it for nothing.

“Breakfast… lots of breakfast. I think I’m addicted to your scones and yogurt.” He admitted with a laugh.

“I can do that,” Taz said happily…. “wait… I already do that.” She added, splashing a bit of water at him.

Duncan laughed and nodded in agreement. “I knew there was a good reason why Randal brought me by that first day and told me he’d see me fed in exchange for some rockwork. Now I’m just bypassing the middle man.” He rumbled, stretching out on one of the low seats within the water.

The Community Pool had benches in the shallow end designed to allow people to lounge in the water comfortably and visit with each other if they needed to cool down. They were comfortable and tended to let people lean back, lounge, or sit and talk for hours without fatigue. Tazrae appreciated the design then and there, for nothing else than the ease at which it put someone especially when talking about a difficult subject. It was strange to think it was something Duncan made with his own hands – his own magic – and that he was willing to pass it on to her.


Word Count: 566
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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A Slow Burn I

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 8:44 am

“You told me about magic when you built my shower wall, but I don’t think I understand all of it.” She said, looking thoughtful. “Do you think you can pretend I’m a small child and just start from there? I really know less than a small child growing up in a magical family would know.” She assured him, not trying to pretend knowledge where there was none.

“That’s a really good idea, Tazrae. A really solid foundation is the key to using magic safely. If you understand it, you can actually deal with it a lot better than those that are clueless can. That’s why we are out here in the water, relaxing, so we can have a nice long talk about it. The harder parts will come afterward, when you know more and can decide things for yourself.” He added, rather ominously if Taz was any judge of magical things. She was not… and she knew it.

“So, you talked about Djed. Will you tell me more about what djed is?” She asked thoughtfully. Tazrae tried not to think too hard about being in a tropical jungle pool with a man who was almost a stranger completely naked discussing magic. There were so many violations of her ‘rules’ growing up here, so many new pathways for her. She leaned back, uncomfortable, and wondered what her younger self would think about her older self being in the here and now at this situation.

Duncan looked at her curiously. It was odd, Tazrae thought, how a blind man could still reveal such emotion with nothing but milky eyes. “What’s wrong?” He asked, rather than answering her question.

“It's just… growing up… I’d never imagined being here… in this place, in this time… like this… discussing magic.” She said thoughtfully. “I was just wondering what my younger self would think of my older self… and how I’d never guessed this would be my life as a girl after my father died. I couldn’t even imagine a life without him.” She said, then shook her head, sending droplets of water around the relatively calm pool. “Things changed so fast. They are still changing.” She added, her eyes surveying the area then finally resting on Duncan.

He nodded. “That’s how life is, Tazrae. Life rarely stands still. If you manage to do that yourself, it whirls around you like a dervish and carries on without you. And honestly? I advocate meditation and learning to actively stand still once in a while. It’s good for you and it steadies you. Mages need that. And if today goes well, you’ll be a mage tonight.” He added, looking intently at her even though he couldn’t see her.

Tazrae nodded slowly. She didn’t say anything though, not really, and because of that, Duncan continued.

“What do you remember about djed?” He asked.

Taz looked thoughtful then nodded. “Its an energy that’s in everything. It flows through things like our bodies in rivers and streams, but also the rocks and trees… in the sky and in the soil. You implied it took many forms and levels.” She added, looking to see if her memory had served her correctly.



Word Count: 529
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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A Slow Burn I

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 8:47 am

Duncan nodded agreeably. “That’s right. It means ‘backbone’ in the old language, the language many mages use. Scholars claim it’s the building block of all things because it is within everything and everything exists because of it. The purest form, though, is within sentient creatures in their souls. All magic uses Djed manipulation at its backbone… and it has rules to its existence.” He added.

“Rules? What kind of rules?” She asked, curiously, shifting in the water making the smooth pool lap around her.

“Rules. Definitely, things that can never be changed. The first thing any mage ever learns about djed is that it cannot be created nor destroyed. A mage or anyone for that matter can only transform djed. Most people perform these transformations without even knowing it. You set fire to driftwood on the shore and you are transforming the wood imto a flame. The djed become heat that drifts off in the wind as smoke too. Djed is what drives the cycle of life, where you hunger and eat the fruits and greens of the world to fill your belly and energize your body. And yet when you die, your body decomposes in the land, and in turn, your djed feeds the trees and plants that in turn fed you. It is the same with animals.” Duncan paused, then continued on. “We slay animals to eat them… or yank the fish from the sea. Then we slide our bodies into the sea to bury them… but they don’t go to Laviku or fall to a watery grave. Fish eat them. Sharks too. It's all a giant circle of ever living energy that never dies. It just changes. The changes I have described are subtle, and often go unnoticed. But mages are perpetual instigators of this change in a far more deliberate forceful and often showy way.” He said gently, a half-laugh to himself.

“Especially us Reimancers.” He said thoughtfully.

Tazrae nodded. “You work with elements, right?” She hadn’t missed him saying ‘us Reimancers’. Did he see her as one already? Or was he that confident that he could teach her the skill? Both thoughts made Tazrae grateful. She wanted to be able to do what he did – building the wall, the pathway, and who knew what else – to help further contribute to both the Settlement and to her own endeavors.

“I’ll get to that, Tazrae, but first I want to tell you more about magic itself. Reimancy is just one tiny slice of the pie… and walking into this I want you aware of what you are getting yourself into. There are dangers in magic and multiple disciplines. You’re far better off knowing the big picture before you learn about Reimancy. There are three main types of magic… disciplines we call them… and one ‘lost’ discipline group that is harder to learn. The first is personal magic. It includes magic that allows you to summon and manipulate the elements… Reimancy. There’s voiding in there as well… it’s a type of magic that allows you to open a portal to the void.. or morphing which allows you to change your shape either slightly or transform yourself wholly in a shapeshift much like Kelvics can.” He added, ticking off the types. Personal magic also includes developing mage sight, called Auristics.” Duncan added, then smiled, taking a pause. “Is this too much at once?” He asked abruptly, causing Tazrae to laugh.


Word Count: 569
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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A Slow Burn I

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2020, 8:51 am

“No… no not at all. I’m one of those people, Duncan, that wants to know all there is to know before I jump headfirst into a new project. It’s one of the things I really like about Syka. I get to learn new things… such things I’ve never dreamed or thought to be able to learn before… and I get to learn by doing. In Riverfall, all I could do was ask questions and sit and dream about what I learned… daydreams, not living dreams. Here things come alive. Magic? It has always been a dangerous forbidden fruit.” She said softly, watching Duncan’s face to see if he understood.

He certainly seemed to because his expression softened and he smiled suddenly.

“Alright. Personal magic also includes Familiary where one summons creatures from other worlds. There’s Flux, where one channels their djed into various body parts to make those parts stronger… like a fist when punching or the legs when running. There’s Hypnotism where one can coax others into doing one’s will by voice inflection, touch, that kind of thing… very good magic for you to learn Taz being a Bard. And you can’t tell me you’re not a Bard. I can see your mark through my Auristics.” He added, which caused the protest to die on Tazrae’s lips. She tilted her head at him thoughtfully and opened her mouth. She drew in a breath but then changed her mind closing her mouth instead of speaking.

“What?” He asked curiously, tilting his head.

“Just how much can you see without your eyes through your magic?” She asked, suddenly nervous. Tazrae shifted, bringing her arms up unconsciously to rub at her shoulders. The girl wasn’t used to stripping down, even in with Marino’s presence. She was shy but thought the blind man couldn’t see. It was turning out mages were more resourceful than one thought.

“Taz….” Duncan said gently, then shifted, moving over closer to her. He reached out and she felt his hand on her cheek tracing the outline of her face. It was an intimate touch, but somehow not romantic. “I can see better with my hands. I remember what it used to look like gazing upon others, but I can’t see people as I used to unless I touch them.” He dropped his voice an octave or two, as he seemed to pause as if waiting for her to object. When she did not, he joined his first hand with his second and traced the features of her face, his head tilted to one side as if all he was focused on was his touch.


Continued In: A Slow Burn II


Word Count: 4422
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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